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Paperback edition released 03/09/2020

by Chris Hammer

Part of the A Martin Scarsden Thriller Series

Crime and Mystery Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Star Books

LoveReading Expert Review of Silver

A truly fabulous and meaty crime novel set in Australia, containing a cracking storyline, intense atmosphere, and simmering tension.

A cracking and class-act of a crime novel stuffed full of atmosphere and detail which skilfully sits alongside a truckload of tension. Journalist Martin Scarsden plans on a new start in Port Silver, Australia. On arrival he finds his childhood friend murdered, and his partner is number one suspect. While this could be read as a standalone novel, I recommend starting with Scrublands, Chris Hammer’s debut novel which won The Crime Writers’ Association John Creasy New Blood Award in 2019. The author has been a journalist for over 25 years and I feel his knowledge is anchored in this tale. This is a satisfyingly long read which sets a quite wonderful scene before the story really takes off. Australia sings and Port Silver becomes a known town, with a map planting the locations firmly in mind. I sank in and only came up for air a couple of times. I feel this a beautifully balanced novel, the storyline, setting, characters, and potential for the next book all smoothly combining into one effortlessly compelling read. Silver just has to be included as a LoveReading Star Book, it is a vibrant, sweeping, fabulous read.

Liz Robinson

Silver Synopsis


Journalist Martin Scarsden returns to Port Silver to make a fresh start with his partner Mandy. But he arrives to find his childhood friend murdered - and Mandy is the prime suspect. Desperate to clear her name, Martin goes searching for the truth.


The media descends on the coastal town, compelled by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity, and religion. Martin is chasing the biggest scoop of his career, and the most personal.


As Martin draws closer to a killer, the secrets of his traumatic childhood come to the surface, and he must decide what is more important - the story or his family... 

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781472255365
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: Chris Hammer
Publisher: Wildfire an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 512 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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Win a paperback copy of The Serial Killer's Wife alongside a Colourblock Papier notebook.

Closing date: 30/06/2021

The Serial Killer's Wife by Alice Hunter is out now and to celebrate we are working with AVON to offer a copy of the paperback as well as a Colourblock Papier notebook.  "A snaking twisting ride into the middle of a young family torn apart by allegations of murder." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Silver Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

A crime story set against the backdrop of an unassuming seaside town, but with a deadly storm brewing!

Silver is the sequel to Scrublands and doesn't disappoint in the continuation of the main characters story. This book is gripping from the start and doesn't waste any time in getting to the heart of the story, whilst giving the reader glimpses of the main characters history.

Martin Scarsden is a journalist who has travelled reporting on war torn countries, and sacrifices nothing on the trail of a good story. However, in this story we see Martin at somewhat of a loss without the label of journalist and having to face up to his tragic childhood, whilst trying to save his partner Mandalay Blonde from being labelled as a murderer.

This story certainly keeps you guessing and is a must read if you love a 'whodunnit'. You're always certain you have the right culprit but then the story takes you in a different direction and that's the mark of a good crime novel. I certainly hope there's more to Martin Scarsdens story!

Laura Rowland

I enjoyed this novel immensely, great pace, interesting twists and turns, lots of cliff hangers and chapters just the right length. I would thoroughly recommend.

Martin Scarsden, a journalist returns to his childhood home town of Port Silver for a fresh start with his partner Mandy. Right from the beginning trouble begins, with his old friend murdered, and Mandy being the main suspect. Trying to cope with the media frenzy and his own journalist instincts, Martin begins to investigate the murder, coming across scenes of sexual debauchery, drugs, religion and money making scandals, all in the small town and surrounding area. Martin's past threatens to catch up with him while he is investigating and there is tension between him and Mandy which has to be overcome if they plan on staying together.
The book is written to draw you in, with cliff hangers in each chapter, willing you to read on and find out what happens next. The characters are all very lifelike and the reader can feel real empathy with them whilst trying to work out who did what!
I really enjoyed this novel, the pace was just right, the twists and turns made for interesting reading and I will look out for more by Chris Hammer.

Glenda WORTH

This is a well-written and entertaining story. Set in a small Australian coastal town, it describes an investigative journalist's mission to prove his girlfriend's innocence and find the real murderer.

It did take a while for me to get into this story. However, after a few chapters, the story started to draw me in properly and towards the end of the book I found that I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what happened. Beautifully written in the present tense, which moves the story along and adds to the tension, it's very descriptive. I liked the way the narrative switches from present to past in order to tell Martin's back story, which in turn informs his current actions. Based on my enjoyment of this book, I will definitely be reading the first in the series, Scrublands.

Pauline Braisher

A multi-layered story with so many threads which are drawn together perfectly at the very last minute. Silver is a cracking read!

Returning to his home town of Port Silver and being confronted by his past is not something that Martin Scarsden ever wanted to do. When he walked away from his life there he thought he had left for good. But facing his daemons is not the hardest thing Martin has to do. As he and his girlfriend Mandy are drawn into cases of murder, blackmail and corruption, Martin must fight to uncover the truth of current events as well as his past.

Silver is a multi-layered story with so many threads which are drawn together perfectly at the very last minute. There's so much going on and it’s one of those books which you'll ponder and mull over even when you’re not reading it. It’s a sequel to Scrublands and although it alludes to past events which occurred in Scrublands it does provide enough detail so that I didn’t feel I was missing out by not having read Scrublands first. Those who have may approach Silver from a different viewpoint and given the large cast of characters in Silver, it may have helped to have known some of them beforehand. Silver is a cracking read and I'm certainly going to get my hands on Scrublands ASAP!

J Harper

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! If you've read Scrublands, you'll love this.

Loved the first novel Scrublands so excited when this was released which didn't disappoint. Both me and my Partner read it on holiday. This book carries straight on from the first. This is Martin Scarsden at his best, unravelling tangled threads of history, motive and events, maybe at the cost of his own happiness. I loved the characters and plenty of different plots going on from past and present. A town of buried secrets that Martin hasnt re-visited since his childhood buried 25 years ago. It starts with a murder and more murders follow, but why, and how are they all connected? I won't go into too much detail without spoiling the plot, but well worth a read. Highly recommended, can't wait for the next from this Author.

Nicola Cooper

Great read, fast paced, full of action, great protagonist.

Silver by Chris Hammer is a great read, a real page Turner. It's set in a beautiful town on the Australian coast, there is a murder and the prime suspect is top reporter Martin's girlfriend. To clear her, he has to dig deep into the town's politics, hippy beach, local drug dealer and more. More murders take place and he is there at the scene to investigate.


Wow! From page one this book showed terrific promise and I was not disappointed.

Wow! From page one this book showed terrific promise and I was not disappointed.

The themes unfolded in an accomplished way, sprinkled throughout with the back story of the central character. This gave the reader an inkling of the trauma he had suffered in his past and as he discovered the real truth of former events his mind seemed to become more capable of dealing with the present.

The story moved swiftly and thrillingly with a diverse well-drawn cast of characters slowly revealing their secrets and it was difficult at times to put the book down!

I found the journalistic view to proceedings brought reality to the novel as we have all witnessed media scrums outside public buildings so this proved totally true to life.

A well written novel and over the 490 pages the tale revealed itself in a confident, ambitious and sweeping manner.

Siobhan McDowell

A great read that keeps you guessing till the end. Highly recommended.

This was the first book I’ve read by this author, which is a sequel to his previous novel Scrublands. Silver centers around journalist Martin Scarsden, who returns to his hometown of Port Silver, where he looks forward to some peace and quiet. His expectations are quickly shattered as new mysteries and old wounds arise. Hammer cleverly interweaves the past with the present, serenity with chaos. Not everything is as it seems in Port Silver. Even though it took me a bit of time to get into the flow of the novel, I ultimately very much enjoyed it and would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery.

Maya Ehrmann

Chris Hammer Press Reviews

A terrific murder mystery set in New South Wales. A tale of drugs, property speculation, small-town ambitions, money, and a strange religious guru. - The Times, Best Books of 2020

The perfect sequel to the extraordinary Scrublands. Tense, heart-squeezing and absolutely addictive: Silver is one to read again and again - Gytha Lodge

With their small-town Australian setting, brilliantly complex plots involving corruption, cruelty and climate change, Chris Hammer's detective novels are as compellingly written and characterised as they are, sadly, topical. Alongside Jane Harper, he is in the vanguard of Australian noir. - Amanda Craig

I think this is better than the first - Ann Cleeves

Hammer is a great writer - a leader in Australian noir - Michael Connelly

A meaty crime mystery with plenty of originality and excitement - Newbooks Magazine

Another compulsive thriller - Culturefly

Sweeping and ambitious ... It bears comparison with Jane Harper's The Dry and there can be no higher praise - Daily Mail

A terrific story ... This is an excellent sequel; the best Australian crime novel since Peter Temple's The Broken Shore - The Times

A great new edition to the world of crime-writing. -- Natasha Cooper - Literary Review

Richly descriptive, with a large and well-drawn cast, this is an immersive and enjoyable novel that lives up to the promise of its predecessor. -- Books of the Month - Guardian

Hammer combines Scarsden's backstory with a vivid portrait of a divided community to mesmerising effect. - Sunday Times

Silver is the perfect sequel to Scrublands - dark, twisty and atmospheric, with writing so real you can almost feel the blistering heat of the Australian summer. I savoured every page, I didn't want it to end - Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me

Compelling, original and brilliantly executed - an excellent thriller from a new master of Australian noir - Charles Cumming, author of A Foreign Country

Stunning ... Scrublands is that rare combination, a page-turner that stays long in the memory -- Sunday Times on 'Scrublands' Shimmers ... A tortured tale of blood and loss -- Val McDermid on 'Scrublands' -

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781472255365
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472255358
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Format: Hardback

View All Editions

About Chris Hammer

Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. For many years he was a roving foreign correspondent for SBS TV's flagship current affairs program Dateline. He has reported from more than thirty countries on six continents. Chris's non-fiction book, The River, published in 2010 to critical acclaim, was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award. Scrublands, his first novel, was published in 2018 and won the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award, as well as being shortlisted for ...

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